The Lakeland Rustlers Men's Basketball team finished the first semester with two wins over the visiting Grande Prairie Wolves on the weekend.
Friday night, the Rustlers came out to a quick start, opening up a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Rustlers continued their strong defense in the second quarter, led by third-year guard Adrian Richards. At the half, the Rustlers extended their lead to 50-36. The Wolves made a push in the third quarter, fighting on both ends of the floor, but the Rustlers held their ground, maintaining a 12-point lead. In the fourth quarter, the Rustlers took control of the game, outscoring the Wolves 27-11 in the quarter, on route to a 99-69 win.
Second-year guard Rashon Russell led the Rustlers with 23 points and four rebounds. Fourth-year forward Artavis Holiday had 21 points, eight rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block for the Rustlers, earning him Player of the Game.
The Rustlers and Wolves tipped off Saturday afternoon in the rematch, with both teams looking to finish the first semester with a win. The Wolves came out fighting in the first quarter, looking to bounce back from the blowout loss Friday night. The Rustlers, on the other hand, looked like they expected another easy win. The Wolves controlled the first quarter and led 19-16 heading into the second. In the second quarter, the Rustlers closed the gap and took the lead. The Rustlers were able to hold the Wolves to just 14 points in the quarter, while scoring 29 of their own, opening up a 45-33 at the half.
The Rustlers had another strong quarter defensively, holding the Wolves to 14 points again while pushing their lead to as many as 18 in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Rustlers were visibly tired. The Rustlers had numerous defensive breakdowns and turnovers, allowing the Wolves to put up 37 points in the quarter. Thankfully, the Rustlers had built enough of a lead early that they were able to hold the lead, despite the breakdowns, and come away with a 90-84 win.
Third-year guard Brandon Isaac led the Rustlers with 24 points, five rebounds, an assist and a block, earning him Player of the Game. Russell added 23 points, five rebounds and two assists for the Rustlers.
The Rustlers finished the first semester with a 6-6 record, tying them for 3rd place in the ACAC North Division. The Rustlers return to the court for the second semester on January 11th and 12th, when they take on the Concordia Thunder (10-2).